I’ve had my eye on Sky Zone, Ottawa’s indoor trampoline park, since it opened its doors this spring. It’s on the way to Moe’s day care provider, so the signs have been taunting us daily. I did a parent-and-tot gymnastics class with Moe this year, and his favourite part was definitely the trampoline. When I saw that Sky Zone had “Toddler Time,” I was determined to try it.
Toddler Time is offered Tuesday through Thursday, from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. A Thursday off to spend quality time with my sister, who was visiting from Nova Scotia, seemed like a good time to pull Moe out of daycare for the day and give this a shot.
What is Toddler Time?
Admission to Toddler Time is $13.00 for the child ($6.00 for a sibling add-on), and no cost for the adult(s). Parking is ample and free. One parent is expected to be with the child at all times. Parents are obviously welcome to jump, too, but I was told upon entry that “extreme jumping” was not permitted by adults during Toddler Time. (I hadn’t planned on doing any flips or tricks because I have no idea how, so I was fine with that.)
At Toddler Time, you have access to the big jump floor (The entire floor is made up of trampolines, and the walls are trampolines, too! It’s the rubber room with which you have always threatened your kids!), the Foam Zone (jump into a foam pit), and the basketball area (practice your jump shot... literally). The 3D dodgeball courts are closed, which is probably for the best.
What should you know?
The first time you go to Sky Zone, you need to fill out a waiver for every person in your party. The waivers can be filled out online - this saves time, and is recommended. The waiver is good for a year.
Adults can borrow “jump shoes” free of charge, but you need to bring socks. I didn’t, so I jumped in my bare feet. My sister used the jump shoes, and she was able to get higher and farther than I was (this may have been the jump shoes, or it may be that she’s 19 and I’m 35). I’m also willing to bet her feet hurt less than mine did the next day. Moe jumped in sock feet.
Sky Zone asks that you don’t bring in outside food. However, as the snack counter did not appear to be open while we were there, I boldly gave my son a juice box and a fruit bar (in the eating area, not on the jump courts). As I was struggling with the decision, another mom assured me that she does it all the time with her daughter. I also kept a bottle of water nearby for Moe to drink from while we were jumping. Because the snack counter was closed, I wasn’t able to get a sense of whether there were many healthy choices there, but I saw ice cream and pop, and they offer pizza for birthday parties. There are drinking fountains. The women’s bathroom has a diaper change table. (I can’t speak for the men’s.)
What was it like?
It was ridiculously fun. We got there right when it opened, so the place was pretty empty for most of our stay, which allowed Moe to get his bearings without being overwhelmed. It didn’t take him too long to find his stride. I took some video, and it is awesome to watch his confidence grow over the course of the videos.
It was fantastic exercise. I thought I might have been pushing it, wearing actual work-out gear, but I wasn’t. All three of us got good and sweaty. Moe wore himself out to the point of angry-drunk-tired, which made leaving an adventure. Because of this, I might not stay as long next time (we were there at least 90 minutes) but we were all having so much fun that I didn’t want to leave.
It felt very safe, the facilities are clean, and there is ample space to relax and take a break from jumping. Leather couches provide a comfortable spot to chill out and there are tables for snacktime. During Open Jump (all ages), a room called “Parents’ Lounge” is open for parents who want to escape the insanity. I also loved that there are clocks everywhere.
Moe has already asked to go back. I’m already trying to find another reason to take a Thursday off work.
Yumi Webster (@yumikid) works full time at a Crown corporation, and is mom to 3.5 year old Moe. You can read about Moe’s adventures at Finding Moe. Yumi has lived in Ottawa all her life. She loves museums, her family, and peanut M&Ms.